There hasn't been much news to report in the ongoing stalemate in the NFL labor negotiations, and as fans get restless, George Atallah (executive spokesman for NFL players) is stepping into the breach. His latest post at NFLlockout.com offers to host a weekly Q&A session with all NFL fans. (Questions can be submitted via Twitter to @GeorgeAtallah).
The most pressing question: What is the timetable for returning players and owners to the negotiating table?
But as Judy Battista writes this week for the New York Times, that simple question has a long and complex answer, complicated by the decision by the union to decertify. But surprisingly, something other than money is emerging as a key factor in the process:
Getting a new deal that is not subject to oversight by the court — not just by Judge David S. Doty, who has often ruled against the N.F.L., but by any court — is as big a priority for many owners as reducing player costs.
How would that be possible? Only by both sides coming back to the table and settling their differences in the collective bargaining process. The catch is that the players would have to re-assemble as the NFLPA, losing all of the leverage that they gained through the court system.